Dalit activist shot dead

Dalit rights activist and Bahujan Samaj Party member Chandrakant Jaywant Gaikwad (30) was shot dead by assailants in front of a dhaba in Jamb village of Indapur taluka in Pune district on Tuesday morning.

A case was registered against Satpal Mahadev Rupnavar (22) of Jamb, a "notorious" goon and historysheeter, his aide Santosh alias Lubya Chandalkar and three others at the Walchandnagar police station on the complaint of Dada Shivaji Jadhav (32) of Jamb. Jadhav was with Gaikwad when the latter was shot.

Police suspect the assailants wanted to eliminate Jadhav, with whom Rupnavar had a dispute, but he managed to flee.

Inspector Dashrath Patil said Gaikwad, a resident of Jamb, had come to Mahalaxmi dhaba to meet Jadhav. Around 10 am, the assailants reached there in a jeep and an argument ensued between Jadhav and Rupnavar. As Jadhav managed to escape, Rupnavar allegedly fired at Gaikwad from his revolver and fled.

The incident has created panic in several parts of Indapur. Nearly 300 policemen have been deployed in Jamb to maintain law and order. Senior police officers, including DySP Manoj Lohiya, visited the crime scene. A hunt is on to nab Rupnavar and his aides.

Meanwhile, Dalit activists held agitation and burnt tyres to protest the murder. Gaikwad was known to be an office-bearer of the Rashtriya Dalit Nyay Hakka Samiti, Indapur Taluka.

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